How to Read My Poems

slink up
behind them
in the stale of
night
with a baseball bat
with nails
sticking out of the end
and bash them in the
head
like a zombie
terrorizing your childhood
home.

do not listen
to their
bullshit.

bitch back.

stomp
on their
toes.

poison
their drinking
water.

let the fucking
curse words shout
at their
stupid
fucking
faces like
unintentional spitwads

but don’t
talk
behind their backs.

my poems
keep their friends close,
but their enemies
even
closer.

(C) Brice Maiurro 2012

Cover art: John Jennings

Poetry EP Release: Everything is on Fire

Last fall, I had the distinct pleasure of heading to the studio of the one and only Chadzilla Johnson, where we took a few of my favorite poems from my new collection, Hero Victim Villain and recorded them, with Chadzilla accompanying me on drums with a couple appearances of other instruments. As of yesterday, those recordings have come together as an EP called “Everything is on Fire.”

I hope you’ll take a minute and listen to these tracks. One of my favorite ways to perform is accompanied by this amazing drummer and music teacher.

Hero Victim Villain – Book Release

hero victim villain

EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE AND I WANT TO SLEEP FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS.

I’m excited to say my second collection of poetry, Hero Victim Villain, will be released on June 24th from Stubborn Mule Press.

This collection is mostly an accumulation of poems that I wrote late 2017 to early 2019. The first poem in the collection, The Canary Who Swallowed The Coal Minekind of set the tone. I say in the poem “everything is on fire, and I want to sleep for at least two weeks.” The poem goes on to basically explain how everything is on fire, a commentary on my own anxieties and paranoia and feelings of helplessness, the way I can play the victim at times.

My friend Brandon Pooley calls it the poet’s disease. The way that some creatives will be self-destructive ultimately in the name of art. Something I want to get away from. I think that art is born out of self-discovery. Yeah, if you’re going through some hard shit you are possibly growing as a person, but it doesn’t have to be hard shit. Go on a trip, walk backwards to the grocery store, change jobs. I think what’s better than drinking yourself into a coma every night is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone by pushing yourself to be more. Henry Rollins says it well:

“If you hate your parents, the man or the establishment, don’t show them up by getting wasted and wrapping your car around a tree. If you really want to rebel against your parents, out-learn them, outlive them, and know more than they do.”

The book goes on to explore these themes more. Savior complexes, the monsters we are and the monsters among us, all with a healthy dose of humor. I’m really excited about this collection. I hope to stop by the blog a bit more over the next couple months with more short writings, but thank you for reading. I hope that not everything is on fire for you.


photo: henry desroches

enso poem one

enso

great wonder beyond the wall
the wall beyond the shadows of something
the shadows of something beyond enveloped life
oversaturated perfection
inconsistent adulterated human experience
swept clean like dead flies from the floor beneath the burning building

“enso” is a Japanese word meaning circle. ensos are symbolic of many things including enlightenment, infinity and the void. in some practices, Buddhists will each day paint an enso, usually in one stroke, in a certain hope of drawing a perfect circle. there is both a sense of giving in to the moment and the ongoing discipline towards perfection therein. with these enso poems, i will write poems in one fell swoop, hoping for the best, hoping to strengthen my muscle each day, and resolved in their imperfections.

An Old Woman of Arles

though once
her hair was wild
it is now tamed
seeking refuge from
a long life
in the sanctuary
of a black bandana

her eyes sunken in
like great ships
set ablaze
in the starry night
beneath her eyebrows
like clouds
that dissipate
slowly through time

her wrinkles have
formed like drylands
under the salt water crusades
of lovers above her
long gone
onward to other women
other lives
and down the stairs
six feet beneath the
ground

there is no symmetry
left to her face
there is no falsity
of balance
of give and take
of war and peace
just the residue
of what lost
and what was won

she stares
at the artist
like she is staring
at god
like she stares out
into the great void
that hovers over her
small bed
the great void
that comes whistling
out of her teapot
the great void
that consumes
not only the old woman
but the artist as well
but youth

he does not know
that when he stares out
at the old woman of arles
that he stares into
himself
but god
does he know
how to paint
a self-portrait.

'An Old Woman of Arles' by Vincent Van Gogh. 1888.

You Are Not a Flower

you are not a flower.

you do not rise
from the soil
like some dandy little
spark of life

you are not
overflowing
with green vanity

you just are.

when spring hits

you do not bloom

you do not rise up

from the cold winter

to burst forth into
some spectral showcase
of expressionistical color

you are not some
kaleidoscopic
manifesto

you are not
in constant competition
with the bright roses
around you

you are not
in constant praise
of the sun

your tongue is not
held out before you
drinking in
the ultraviolet rays
you’ve been fed

you do not
think of your roots
as being for
gathering life
into your body
like stranger prayer

you are not a flower.

you bloom inward
you burn circles
in your living room rug

trying to find
unidentified life lying
in the widening crack
of your ceiling

you lick the salt
from your wounds
and watch your hands
swell

you waste days
you boil water into boredom

you’ve torn your roots
from the bureaucratic soil
of bureaucracy

lifted
your two-dimensional legs
from the blueprint
they laid out for you

and you’re not always
so beautiful

you don’t have
the distinct privilege
of a best laid plan

you are something else

seedless
fruitless
without petals

you dance best drunk
and to heavy metal

you are not a flower.

you are the crayon
that walked to the edge
of town
and outside of the lines

and when you bloom
it’ll be in the middle of winter
in the middle of the night
and you will not bloom delicate

you my dear
will bloom fists and fury

From Stupid Flowers

 

WOLF.

You’ve caught me in your net, my dear.
I’m not struggling I’m just begging for more food.
I’m napping and dreaming of never leaving your doorstep.
I’m napping and dreaming of your blood running down my chin.
I’m chaotic neutral punchy dry lovely motherfucker these days.
The way I smile around the grocery store with pound after pound of red meat
filling up my shopping cart.
And you fill me up.
With love and anger and the messy mix between the two.
I’m crunching numbers with my canines.
I’m sleepless and waking up behind dumpsters in Cap Hill.
There’s smashed glass on my bedroom floor.
There’s ropes tied to the side of my bed tied there to hold me down.
And ain’t nothing gonna hold me down.
I daydream about biting into your thighs, swallowing your moans.
I would kill just to taste you again.